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L U C Í A R U B I O R U B I O
How should we test reading
skills?
1. Is it easy to test reading skills? - Problems
2. Which skills the reader perform? - Operations
3. Which texts candidate...
1. Is it easy to test reading skills?
• A good one?
• What do you want to measure?
Quickly
construction of a
reading test
...
2. Which skills the reader perform? - Operations
Operations based on different
purposes
Expeditious
reading
Skimming
Searc...
3. Which texts candidates are expected to be able
to deal with?
• Text types
• Text forms
• Graphic features
• Topics
• St...
4. Criterial level of performance
Traditional passmarks expressed in percentages: no direct
interpretation
To use the test...
5. Setting tasks
• Advices:
• Representative sample: many texts and operations
• Appropriate length
• Content validity & r...
• Measure the ability in which we are interested
• Elicit reliable behaviour from candidates
• Permit highly reliable scor...
Multiple choice
The man with a
dog was attacked
in the street by a
woman
True/False: by
chance?
-> Add another
distractor
Short answer
It is better with an unique correct response
 For testing the ability to identify referents
 For testing th...
Gap filling
When the required response is so complex and it may cause
writing and scoring problems
• To test if the candid...
Information transfer
 Minimising demands on writing
ability
 Example: a table, following a
route, labelling a picture et...
• Items: Less demanding than the text itself
• Responses: Minimal demands on writing ability
• Target language or native l...
Moderation
checklist
TIPS
Items in
order
Answers
found
without
reading
No
general
knowledg
e answers
Independient
items
Minor
changes –
Ask a
n...
6. What should we test on a reading test?
Grammar,
vocabulary,
spelling or
punctuation
To test receptive and productive sk...
7. References
 Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. Testing
Reading, 136-160.
Testing reading
Testing reading
Testing reading
Testing reading
Testing reading
Testing reading
Testing reading
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Testing reading

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How should we test reading skills? (Report from Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. Testing Reading, 136-160)

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Testing reading

  1. 1. L U C Í A R U B I O R U B I O How should we test reading skills?
  2. 2. 1. Is it easy to test reading skills? - Problems 2. Which skills the reader perform? - Operations 3. Which texts candidates are expected to be able to deal with? – Parameters 4. Criterial level of performance 5. Setting tasks: a. Selecting texts b. Writing items c. Possible techniques d. Which language for items and responses? e. Procedures for writing items – Practical advice 6. What should we test on a reading test?
  3. 3. 1. Is it easy to test reading skills? • A good one? • What do you want to measure? Quickly construction of a reading test • Which skills are involved? • Measuring a particular skill – Successful item? Manifest of receptive skills • Reading purpose • The kind of text Different ways of reading depending on… • Diagnostic test • Achievement test • Placement test • Profiency test The purpose of the test
  4. 4. 2. Which skills the reader perform? - Operations Operations based on different purposes Expeditious reading Skimming Search reading Scanning Careful reading Identify Interpret Distinguish Recognise Outline Make inferences
  5. 5. 3. Which texts candidates are expected to be able to deal with? • Text types • Text forms • Graphic features • Topics • Style • Intended readership • Lenght • Readability • Range of vocabulary • Range of grammar • Authenticity Parameters We want the texts included in a test to be representative of the texts candidates should be able to read successfully. Content validity and backwash.
  6. 6. 4. Criterial level of performance Traditional passmarks expressed in percentages: no direct interpretation To use the test tasks themselves to define the level When can we compare performance on the test using scales: ACTFL or ILR?
  7. 7. 5. Setting tasks • Advices: • Representative sample: many texts and operations • Appropriate length • Content validity & reliability: Many passages (Fresh starts) VS. Practicality • Search reading: discrete information • Scanning: Texts with the specified elements • Structure ability: Clear structure • Interest but not overexcite or disturb • Avoid texts about general knowledge • Avoid too culturally laden texts • New texts for students a. Selecting texts: Experience, judgement and common sense
  8. 8. • Measure the ability in which we are interested • Elicit reliable behaviour from candidates • Permit highly reliable scoring b. Writing items that… • Multiple choices • Short answer • Gap filling • Information transfer c. Possible techniques
  9. 9. Multiple choice The man with a dog was attacked in the street by a woman True/False: by chance? -> Add another distractor
  10. 10. Short answer It is better with an unique correct response  For testing the ability to identify referents  For testing the ability to predict the meaning of a word in context  For testing the ability to make various distinctions  For testing scanning  For testing the ability to structure a text (Problems on scoring of sequencing items)
  11. 11. Gap filling When the required response is so complex and it may cause writing and scoring problems • To test if the candidate had grasped the main idea • To test the ability to recognise detail presented support a main idea • Summary cloze
  12. 12. Information transfer  Minimising demands on writing ability  Example: a table, following a route, labelling a picture etc.
  13. 13. • Items: Less demanding than the text itself • Responses: Minimal demands on writing ability • Target language or native language? d. Which language for items and responses? • 1. Careful reading: operations in mind • 2. What a competent reader should derive from the text? • 3. To take notes • 4. To decide the tasks • 5. Paragraph and line numbers (to reference) • 6. Moderation by colleagues and modification e. Procedures for writing items – Practical advice
  14. 14. Moderation checklist
  15. 15. TIPS Items in order Answers found without reading No general knowledg e answers Independient items Minor changes – Ask a native
  16. 16. 6. What should we test on a reading test? Grammar, vocabulary, spelling or punctuation To test receptive and productive skills at the same time makes the measurement less valid
  17. 17. 7. References  Hughes, A. (2003). Testing for language teachers. Testing Reading, 136-160.

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